Today’s distance 25 km
Elevation gain 144 m
Elevation loss 385 m
Total distance from Almería 1,468 km
What a fabulous start to the day! The weather doesn’t look too promising but at least it is dry when we leave and almost immediately we are walking on a natural woodland track alongside a fast flowing river with lots of waterfalls, and a symphony of birdsong. It is totally enchanting
The birds sound as happy as I am to be awake this morning.
The walk is very much downhill and mostly on soft track with lots of puddles but no great amount of mud. Nina and Paul are up ahead and I am loitering, making the most of this delightful section in dry weather. I even see a few patches of blue sky amongst the grey.
We pass countless mills – some in ruins, some restored, and all with name plates. Everything is covered in a thick coat of moss.
At 5K we cross onto a road for a short while, pass under a motorway bridge and are almost immediately back onto the track alongside the river.
We cross wooden bridges, stone bridges, and stepping stones and switch from one side of the river to another
We met up at 6.5 km when we stop at Ribadumia for a drink. We were previously walking along the Rio Armenteira, but have now upgraded to the wide and fast flowing Rio Umia, strolling between the river and vineyards. At some points along the river frogs compete with the birds to see who can sing loudest.
At around 13 km there is a stretch on the road And at 16.5 km we are back on track through a eucalyptus plantation – our first climb of the day.
There are several more kilometres on the road before we reach the banks of the estuary at 21.5 km, and we take a short break sitting on the rocks, breathing in the fresh sea air. We are rewarded by a show of the sun – and it has never felt so good.
The rest of the walk is on a sand track alongside the estuary and finally across a bridge that takes us almost to the door of the albergue. Once again it doesn’t open until 14:00 and whilst we wait we find a bar around the corner. The albergue is situated in the town sports centre, a 28 bed dormitory, working kitchen, and large dining area. 6€ including disposable sheet and pillow case and blankets. There are separate bathroom facilities, each with one shower and two loos and the wash basins are communal. There is a washer/dryer for a fee if required.
We three shower and change, I do my last hand-wash for many months and we set out to wander the town and languish in the sunshine.
Tomorrow we take a boat up the Rio Ulla for 27 km, but due the limitation of the tides it will not be leaving until 10:00 so there will be no rush to get up and go in the morning. It is advised to reserve a place on the boat at a cost of 19€, which seems a bit expensive. And then I will be walking my last stage of this elongated and convoluted camino. Fingers crossed for another dry day.